New microscopes help identify bacteria

The organism on the left could be (but has not been confirmed) Microcystis, a cyanobacteria.

Waterkeepers Carolina recently provided OMAX microscopes to Riverkeepers across North Carolina to help them identify bacteria in local waters.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop put Sound Rivers’ new microscope (with digital camera) to immediate use after a kayak outing at Robertson Mill Pond over the holiday weekend. While exploring Wake County’s only cypress swamp, Sam ran across what appeared to be an algal bloom. She took water samples and notified North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources. Sam believes the one of the organisms found in the sample could be Microcystis, a type of cyanobacteria, which can produce toxins. She’s reached out to DEQ to help identify both organisms in the photos.

Sam was accompanied on her kayaking trip by her dog, Charlie, and said the outing was a good reminder to keep pets away from water that appears discolored, murky or odorous — all signs of an algal bloom.

Some algal blooms can produce toxins that can cause illness or even death, as was reported two weeks ago when several dogs were sickened or died after a trip to Jordan Lake.  Read more HERE.

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell is pictured in training to use the OMAX microscope during last week’s Waterkeepers Carolina conference in Charlotte.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop and her dog, Charlie, ran across what appeared to be an algal bloom at Robertson Mill Pond in Wake County.